by Jackson Burgess


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Dive bars, gas stations, bedrooms, and snowfields comprise the setting as the speaker asks: What do we feel? What should we feel? Who gets to feel what?

In his moving debut collection, Jackson Burgess examines heartbreak, depression, and empathy through a lens of rigorous introspection.

Atrophy’spoems vary in location, mostly between Los Angeles and Iowa City, with reoccurring characters serving as touchstones, forming the book’s narrative. Much of the collection is about or directly addresses an ex-lover, Lily. In the wake of that failed relationship,Atrophywrestles with loneliness, substance abuse, and dissociation, utilizing lists, letters, prose poems, and free verse.

These poems celebrate the past while mourning it, armed with the advantage of retrospect. Prescription drugs, dog fights, dance parties, love letters, and ghosts—the world depicted is at times dark, at times humorous, but always human.Atrophyis vulnerable and cinematic, a series of manic meditations exploring what it means to love and be loved, to hurt and be hurt.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938912894
Publisher: Write Bloody Publishing
Publication date: 09/21/2018
Pages: 100
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Jackson Burgess is the author of Atrophy (Write Bloody Publishing, 2018)and the chapbook Pocket Full of Glass, winner of the 2014 Clockwise Competition (Tebot Bach, 2017). He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his poetry and fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. He has led workshops at the University of Iowa, Los Angeles Southwest College, and the St. Vincent de Paul Cardinal Manning Center on Skid Row. Jackson lives in Los Angeles, where he works as an editor and educator.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from "Essay on Tornados":

...Listen when I tell you

something I needed to be told: there is nothing beautiful

about surviving the end times and watching highlight reels

to reminisce. God's the saddest guy in the bar because he
remembers what every key on his chain

has locked.

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